One of my former colleagues in ministry would often say that it is hard to evaluate what we are doing as pastors because “we’re not making widgets here.” What he meant was simply that there’s not really a report that can quantify our role unlike someone who can say, “I made XX widgets during my 8 hour shift today.” And that’s a struggle that comes in churches when trying to figure out how to evaluate how a pastor (or other church staff person) is doing at their job but it is also hard for the pastor in that we often don’t really see results of what we do. That’s why I love doing things like mowing my lawn – it gives me that physical feedback of something being done.
But that’s also why I save so many cards and file away emails that I receive that tell the story of how God worked through me in the lives of the people I serve and share with. I often go back to those, especially on those harder days, to remind me that God is at work and God is using me. When I read the theme for today about “something you made”, I thought of how these messages remind me that I have made a difference. It gives me such joy and encouragement when I get these.
These cards are ones that I have received over the last few weeks from different people of different ages – from a young girl to a 90+ year old woman – each sharing in different ways their gratitudes for God’s working.
So, take some time today to say thank you to those who are making an impact in your life. If you are a person of faith, send a message to your congregational leader (pastor, priest, imam, rabbi, etc). If you are a student, send a message to one of your teachers. A general thank you is nice, but be specific about the impact they have made to you. People need to hear the ways that they are making a difference. That sharing makes a difference. In doing this think about how that will make that person you are thinking feel. I guarantee it will make their day.
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.Luke 17:11-16a
(Quick comment on this story…this was the only one of the ten who thanked Jesus…I wonder how Jesus felt?)